By Katie Gill (as are all the other Fun Animal Facts recaps)
Since I was 3 or 4, I was enamored with video games. They were the chosen group activity for me, my dad and my sister. Funny that my mom never got too into them, but I can see why, when you have a 4 year old yelling at you for not being able to play as well as her, you wouldn’t be interested in spending your valuable time undertaking that task. (And, yes, this is anecdotal evidence that I had a Type A personality early on.) I’ve often joked that the Wii motion controls came about because there were a bunch of people like my dad who would kick the air and twist their bodies while playing games because they were so immersed in them. Now that I’m pushing 30, I don’t have the time or money to commit to gaming that I used to, but I’m still a fan, especially of the Nintendo classics I grew up with like Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong.
It’s funny, a lot of people have been praising Animal School since we launched its most recent iteration in May, saying they’re glad we’re trying to get kids engaged with nature and the outdoors, keeping them from staying inside all day playing videogames. Now, I understand not wanting kids to be sickly pale from staying indoors all the time, ending up with poor social skills, limited interests or anger issues from not having a proper variety of outlets, but that composite is a stereotype of gamers; the exception, not the rule.
Sadly, there are a lot of never-really-going-to-be adults who fit that mold, but in reality, we all play games. This is probably the first or second generation, to my delight, that grew up with video games and will be teaching its kids how to play them. Family time has become digital, and that’s not a bad thing. Yes, you can spend too much time gaming (I remember, as a preteen, playing Spyro the Dragon for so long one day that stationary objects on screen started to move, and marathoning Tomba 2 with my sister for 8 or 9 hours one weekend, with Dr. Pepper being our beverage of choice), but an hour or two a day of playing video games, as long as you move around regularly and take care of everything in your life that needs to be tended to, can be a great outlet and even, as counterintuitive as it sounds, a means of socializing.
I’m sure I’ve mentioned on my blog, Scumbling Up Art, the benefits of casual gaming, including increased problem solving skills, concentration, spacial reasoning, dexterity, creativity and hand-eye coordination, but we’re not here to discuss the merits of video games, we’re here for the animals!
Therefore, without further ado, here is this week’s Fun Animal Facts recap:
- Crash Bandicoot actually shares little resemblance to the Eastern Barred Bandicoot of Australia that he is based on. Image from http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=965
- Starfish don’t attack prey by spinning at them like they do in the Donkey Kong Country franchise. Rather, since their mouths are at the center of their underbellies, starfish tend to wrap themselves around prey and envelop meals.
- Like Super Mario, flying squirrels can glide between trees using the cape-like membranes between their front and back legs. Image fromhttps://t.co/XHzZ6RqSzO https://t.co/gE6H53NSlq
- Several Pokemon are based on real animals. Caterpie and Poliwag, for example, are an Eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar and translucent Costa Rican tadpole in real life.
- Like in Minecraft, wild horses gather in groups, usually in packs of 3 to 20.Image from https://t.co/YxjJ22DTSo
- The Loftwings in The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword are modeled after Shoebills, which we have mentioned in FAF before. Moreover, all members of the Knights Academy, besides Zelda and Link, have names related to birds.Karane = Crane
Groose = Goose
Gaepora is clearly based off of the owl in Ocarina of Time
Owlan = Owl
Horwell = Hornbill or Horned Owl
Cawlin = Macaw
Fledge = Fledgling
Pipit = Pipit
Stritch = Ostrich
Henya = Hen (like a mother hen to the students)
and Phoeni (the arm coming out of the toilet) = Phoenix, a fictional bird
Apparently, I only did six days instead of seven this time, but hopefully there’s enough meat in those facts to hold you over until next week.
Stay wild, my friends!